Showalter: Ubaldo, Bundy to be in 'pen for WC

Manager plans to use relievers differently in high-stakes game

Showalter: Ubaldo, Bundy to be in 'pen for WC

TORONTO -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter wouldn't disclose his roster for Tuesday's American League Wild Card Game against the Blue Jays (TBS, 8 p.m. ET) during Monday's workout day at Rogers Centre, but he said right-hander Yovani Gallardo will be left off the roster, while Ubaldo Jimenez and Dylan Bundy will be available in relief of starter Chris Tillman.

Showalter said he'll wait until 10 a.m. ET on Tuesday to announce the roster, but that going with Tillman was a difficult decision over Jimenez and Bundy, who had been both pitching well recently.

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"There's not much of a separator there, so we would feel comfortable with any of the three guys pitching," Showalter said. "All three may pitch in the game. You look at a certain finality with a starter, but these games usually have a lot of things go on where a lot of people play a big part in it. Just because someone isn't starting a game doesn't mean they can't be real impactful."

Showalter added that with the lose-and-go-home nature of the Wild Card Game, he plans to use his bullpen differently, as he could stretch out right-hander Brad Brach over multiple innings and also could use closer and AL Cy Young Award candidate Zach Britton for two frames.

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"You don't worry about tomorrow or the next day; all you worry about is those nine innings or however many there might be," Showalter said. "There are no penalties for using [players] in different roles, whereas in the regular season, you get penalized for using Brad Brach for two or three innings or pitching Zach for two innings or taking your starter out too early."

Britton, who posted a 0.54 ERA while going a perfect 47-for-47 in save opportunities, said he's already met with the coaching staff about pitching two innings and is ready for whatever Showalter asks of him.

"I've done it before," said Britton, who went two innings once this year, on July 31 against Toronto. "It's not something I'm against. I'm ready. I think everybody has the same mindset. Roles are roles until they're not roles anymore because everything is up in the air once the game starts. Just be ready when your number is called."

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Worth noting
• It's the first postseason appearance since 2012 for third baseman Manny Machado, catcher Matt Wieters and first baseman Chris Davis, as all three missed out on the '14 playoffs with Machado out after right knee surgery, Wieters out after Tommy John surgery and Davis suspended. Wieters, who is in the last year of his contract, said it makes this year's run to the postseason mean even more to him.

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"The fact that after having surgery and having to watch that great run we had in '14, to be able to get back with this team makes it more special," Wieters said. "To see the transformation from when I was first drafted and came up to where we are now as an organization is something all the players take a lot of pride in."

• Having played at Rogers Centre 10 times this year, going 4-6, the Orioles know what to expect from the crowd in Toronto. The Blue Jays led the AL in attendance, and a loud sold-out crowd is expected, but center fielder Adam Jones said they're used to it.

"It's all a part of the game and the mystique," Jones said. "I've been here when there's been 15,000 on a Friday night, and I've been here when there's been 50,000 on a Tuesday. And there's going to be 50,000 here tomorrow on a Tuesday, and probably even a little bit more."

Keys to the Orioles and Jays

• Before the season, the Orioles were picked by many to not make the playoffs, as several prognosticators had Baltimore finishing last in the AL East. But the Orioles got the last laugh with their third postseason appearance since 2012, and they said they never worried about outside perceptions.

"That's how we are," Machado said. "We don't care about anything outside this clubhouse. We care about the 25 guys in this clubhouse. Every time we step on the field, we're family. That's what we strive off of."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.